2007 News

19th December

Private observing visit: A small group came up to the Dome to view M31. The waxing Gibbous Moon was first viewed in the 10 inch and then the core of M31. M31 was also located by eye, though the Moon made this difficult. The high altitude made observing with the Binos impossible

13th December

Geminid meteor shower: Some 14 Friends and College staff came up to the Dome for the predicted clear evening. Some slight high cloud cleared and for 3 hours gave good observing till cloud ended the evening at 11.30pm. Before the meteors started the Binos viewed M45 Pleiades and the ETX M42 the Orion nebula. The 10 inch tracked Mars throughout the evening. At higher magnification it was too bright without filtering. Surface details showed up best in a red filter. Tours of the winter skies were given and the Milky Way and nearby Comet Holmes were very clear. Geminids started to be recorded around 9pm and at best reached several a minute. Overall some 120 were seen over 3 hours. Many were bright at -1 or less and a couple at -4 were seen. Most were white or creamy but a good number showed shades of green

10th December

Extended project observing: The Sun was observed in the ETX with broadband filter (being too low for the 10 inch) and the large new sunspot group 978 drawn

GCSE Observing evening: A couple of Hundred astronomers and 2 Friends came up to the Dome for an extra observing seesison on the best night of the Winter so far. The exploding Comet Holmes was visble again given the clarity of the sky, obviously huge above and right of Mirfak. M45 the Pleiades were viewed in Binos and then for the first time M35 the faint open Cluster in Gemini. The ETX was used first to view M42 the Great Nebula in Orion and all 4 of the Trapezium could be picked out. The ETX was then used to view Mizar and And B binary system. The 10 inch was turned to Mars and the planet was viewed at magnifications of x90, x173 and then x238. Some good dark green detail was seen on the surface. M42 was then viewed at each magnification, though the evening did not allow more than one of the Trapezium stars to be split. To end, the 10 inch was turned to M1 the Crab supernova remnant which had not been seen for some time. Though faint its characteristic S shape could be seen. During the evening several meteors were spotted including a couple of early Geminids

6th December

House visit: 9 pupils from TU Shell came up to the Dome in high winds and driving light rain for the last House visit this term.

Next House visit: 10th January (NC)

30th November

‘School visit’: 14 children from 2nd Marlborough Scouts and 3 leaders came up to the Dome in driving rain and wind for a talk and tour of the Dome.

29th November

House visit: 9 pupils from C2 came up to the Dome on a rare clear evening. Comet Holmes, though dim was viewed in Binos and looked like a fuzzy grey golf ball at over 2 times the diameter of the Sun. It was visble by eye with averted vision. The 10 inch was used to view Mars at low magnifiaction and though low in the sky, some detail (Syrtis Major) could be seen dark green on the bright orange disc. 3 brightmeteors were also seen

Next House visit: 6th December (TU)

GCSE Observing evening: Sadly by 8.45pm the clouds had closed in,some 12 pupils came up to the Dome but appart from glimpses of Mars, little could be done

27th November

Blackett Science Lecture: The 2007 lecture ‘ A Universe of galaxies’ was given by Professor Roger Davies, Chair of Physics at Oxford University and Philip Wetton Professor of Astrophysics. An audience of some 140 attended with large numbers of pupils studying Astronomy and Physics and also many Friends of the telescope

22nd November

House visit: 10 pupils from B1 Shell visited the Dome. Sadly the sky was cloudy though a very large 30 degree wide Lunar Halo was visible at the start of the evening


Next House visit: November 29th (C2)

16th November

Public open evening: Despite total cloud and then light rain, the Dome was filled to capacity in 3 one hour sessions. Some 55 visitors attended talks and tours. Places booked up fast at the Town Libary and some 35 people had to be turned away before the event.

15th November

Outreach lecture: Some 30 people attended a meeting of the Farmers’ club in Oare Village Hall for a lecture on ‘Observing the Wiltshire night sky’

12th November

Extended Project AS observing: A sunny afternoon allowd a lower sixth pupil to make H-alpha observations using the 10 inch. Some high cloud and the low altitude of the Sun made resolution less than perfect, but a good hedge prominence was seen beginning to lift off the North Western limb. Though disturbed in places, as expected there were no Sunspots on the visible disc

11th November

Extended Project AS observing: At last a cold clear night allowed a lower sixth pupil to view the eclipsing Binary star Algol (beta Persei) by eye and in the 10 inch and magnitude estimates made at a point 3 hours before minimum

8th November

House visit: 10 CO Shell pupils were able to observe comet Holmes in binos, by eye and in the 10 inch

Next House visit: 22nd November (B1)

GCSE observing evening: 8 pupils from Remove and Hundred were able to complete coursework drawings of comet Holmesby eye, in Binos, ETX and in the 10 inch. A couple of late Taurids were seen including a fireball which must have been incredibly bright as it was seen behind the ever encroaching cloud

7th November

Friends Q and A evening: 14 Friends attended the evening with the theme ‘Life elsewhere’ considering the possibilities for life in the Solar System and SETI. Some gaps in the cloud allowed early arrivals to see the comet in the Binos

6th November

GCSE Observing evening: A clear patch for one hour allowed 3Hundreds and 1 Remove GCSE pupils to do coursework drawings of comet Holmes by eye, in the Binos, ETX and in the 10inch

3rd November

Taurid meteor shower: For about an hour the clouds held off. Long enough for a couple of visitors to observe the ever expanding comet Holmes and to catch 2 Taurids

2nd November

Comet Holmes observing: 16 Remove astronomy pupils observed 17/P Holmes by eye from the Water Meadows. The Dome opened at 7.30pm and Holmes was observed in Binos and in the 10 inch. By 8pm the fog had set in and the Dome closed

1st November

House visit: 14 Shell pupils from EL came up to the Dome as the clear sky was fogging over. Luckily they were able to view Comet 17/P Holmes in the Binos and then in the 10 inch, the coma again showed some internal structure

Next House visit: 8th November (CO)

31st October

Comet watch: A couple of members of staff joined CEB at the Dome to observe 17P/Holmes for the first time in the 10 inch. As expected it was spectacular showing a spherical outer coma of some 15 degrees and plenty of internal structure. A tiny bright point off centre and an inner brighter coma. The overall magnitude was estimated at 2.7

30th October

External Lecture: Some 45 scholars from Windlesham School in Sussex attended a Question and Answer evening ‘To infinity and Beyond’

30th October

Observing evening (Sussex): The new exploding comet 17/P Holmes was easily identified by eye and drawn in the apparent triangle in Perseus. In Binos the disc was symmetrical and showed a slight golden colour

27th October

Observing evening: Another attempt to view Comet LONEOS proved unsuccessful due to low cloud in the West

24th October

Observatory visit: A private visit was unfortunatley hampered by cloud

20th October

Orionids evening: After an abortive attempt to see comet 2007 F1 LONEOS before it set, due to cloud, 8 Friends gathered till late to watch out for Orionids. The Moon was rather bright until midnight and the moisture in the air led to scattered light. Altogether 7 Orionids were seen and an equal number of sporadics. Meanwhile the Moon was viewed in the ETX. M45 was seen and drawn in Binos, then Mars was seen in both Binos and ETX. The 10 inch was used to look first at M57 (Ring nebula) and then for the first time this year at Mars rising bright in the East. At 173x magnification some dark markings were already clear

11th October

House visit: 11 pupils from BH Shell came up to the Dome. It was too cloudy to observe

Next House Shell visit: 1st November (EL)

9th October

GCSE Observing evening: Having started clear, high cloud meant the evening was called off early. However, 3 Remove astronomres who had come were rewarded as the sky cleared. M31 was viewed by eye and then M13, Mizar A and B were viewed in the ETX. M45 (Pleiades) rising in the East in the Binos. The 10 inch was used to view first M13 (Globular in Hercules) then M57 (Ring nebula) in Lyra and lastly, for the first time M56 (Globular in Lyra). A couple of sporadic meteors were also seen

4th October

Shell House visit: The first Shell visit of the year got underway with 11 pupils from C3 picking a clear night (some high cloud gathering later). M31 was viewed in the Binos and by eye and then M13 in the 10 inch. Tours of the common asterisms were also given

Next house visit: 11th October (BH)

GCSE Observing evening: 4 Hundreds and 6 Remove astronomers joined CEB and RDK to view M31 and M45 in Binos, Mizar A and B in the ETX and M13 in the 10 inch. Several pieces of coursework were completed. 6 sporadic meteors were seen and many satellites

3rd October

Friends Q and A evening: 6 Friends gathered for an evening centered on a discussion of galactic evolution. The sky was clear enough at the end to view M31 (Andromeda) by eye and in Binos, also M13 the Globular in Hercules. The 10 inch gave a good view of the central bulge of M31 with the orientation of the disc but little structure being visible

29th September

Private evening: 11 visitors, 4 adults and 7 children (6 to 13 yrs) attended the Dome. Despite early gaps in the clouds, only a few got to see Mizar A and B through the 10 inch as clouds closed in

28th September

Friends 3rd Anniversary drinks: Some 60 Friends attended the drinks party in the Marlburian to celebrate 3 years of the organisation. We were honoured to be joined by the Director (Honorary Friend) of the Southern Africa Large Telescope (SALT), currently the largest operational optical telescope in the world

23rd September

Prep School Lecture: CEB lectured to some 140 pupils from years 6,7 and 8 at Windlesham House School on ‘Living in the atmosphere of the Sun’

20th September

Observing evening: The ETX was set up to view the First Quarter Moon and the Binos viewed Jupiter and 3 Moons. The 10 inch was calibrated and briefly turned to Uranus, however cloud quickly came in and rendered further observation impossible

11th September

Lecture: CEB lectured to the entire Shell year group (some 165 pupils) and their Form teachers as part of the new Form programme. The lecture was on ‘Archaeoastronomy – our 7000 year heritage’

GCSE Observing evening: 5 Hundreds and 4 Remove pupils came up to the Dome and despite a light sky saw Jupiter and 4 moons in Binos and ETX and then Neptune and Uranus in the 10 inch. M2 the globular cluster in Aquarius was also seen well. We attempted M30 the globular in Capricorn but it was at too low an altitude

10th September

Lecture: CEB gave a short lecture on Sir Edmond Halley to the whole Upper 6th year group as part of thre Enlightenment seminar

Observing evening: 10 Friends gathered to observe the outer planets on the first clear night of the new programme. As the sky darkened, Jupiter was seen in Binos and then the ETX with 4 moons initially before Europa disappeared behind the main planet. The 10 inch was then calibrated on Markab in Pegasus after the Summer break and then found Neptune easily. The planet was bright and showed a hint of blue with the disc being just resolved. Uranus was the next target with a much easier disc and good green-blue hint at low magnification. M31 and M13 were also viewed in Binos and several bright meteors seen

31st August

Teacher visit: After the Summer closure, the Dome opened with an afternoon visit by 6 Physics staff from Wellington College, hosted by 4 Marlborough College staff

12th August

Perseid observing evening: A small group gathered at 9.30pm to view Jupiter and its moons in the ETX (Io moving perceptively into occultation) and the ISS making another super pass with the T-shape and noticeable elongation in the direction of motion being vible to the naked eye. The 10 inch was again following M13 and gave superb resolution as the sky darkened. A band of cloud prevented any meteors being seen till 22.40. Over the next 2 hours 106 meteors were seen (including 12 sporadics). Most around 0 to +1 in magnitude but with an increasing number of -1 and -2 some greeny or creamy in colour. At 23.44 2 meteors travelled an identical track one chasing the other. At 23.48 a -4 with exploding head and 23.53 2 on parallel tracks. Observation ceased at 00.40 with our rate of 60 per hour indicating a ZHR of nearer 80 and an expectation of around 100 per hour in the early morning.

11th August

Observing evening: A group of 19 visitors gathered to spot early Perseids. 11 were seen in one hour, several very bright and many showing a green colour. The ISS (with Endeavour attached) was viewed in the Binos and Jupiter and its moons in the ETX. The 10 inch was used for a spectacular view of the Great Globular Cluster (M13) in Hercules

3rd August

Summer School course: The clouds cleared just enough during the afternoon for brief glimpses of the eastern limb, where spot 966 was emerging and causing slight activity in the Chromosphere

2nd August

Archaeoastronomy: The course had a tour of Avebury in light rain

Solar Weather: The course attended the Dome but the weather did not allow observation, rather a discussion of the possible causes of Global Warming

Summer School Lecture: 100 visitors attended the lecture ‘Life and the Multiverse’ given by Dr Roberto Trotta from Oxford University

1st August

Lughnasadh: 15 of the Archaeoastronomy course walked from Avebury to Silbury Hill to watch the start of the ceremony

Solar viewing: Too much cloud was present to allow use of the H alpha filter

Evening visit: 15 visitors came up to the Dome as the sky cleared. Several early Perseid meteors were seen and a tour of the Sunmer Sky given. Jupiter and its 4 main moons were viewed in Binos and the ETX. M31 was also ssen in the Binos. The sky was too cloudy for the 10 inch

31st July

Summer School course: 8 members of the Solar Weather course viewed the Sun in H alpha (given the lack of sunspots) and were treated to a rapidly changing erruptive prominence of some 80000km height and also some smaller quiescent prominences, one lifting off the surface. The changes seen over the short timescale indicate explosive speeds of up to 1000km/s

Evening visit: 8 visitors came up to the Dome after sunset to view the Summer Triangle, Antares and the rising 1 day waning Moon. Jupiter was viewed in Binos and the ETX and the 10 inch showing up to 4 cloud bands and a closing gap as Europa prepared to transit. The Milky Way was just visible and M31’s core was viewed in Binos and the ETX

30th July

Summer School courses: 15 members of course 170, Archaeoastronomy, had a tour of the Dome in the morning and the 8 members of 171, Solar Weather, spent a couple of hours viewing the Sun in eclipse shades, projection box , ETX and the 10 inch with broadband filter trying to see the tiny groups of spots on an otherwise blank disc. 4 people managed to see spot 966!

Evening visits: 20 visitors attened the Dome to watch the stars appear follwong sunset. The Full (Thunder) Moon was seen large and orange on the horizon and then viewed in the Binos. Jupiter and its 4 Galillean Moons was seen well in the ETX and then at x80 and x160 in the 10 inch. The low altitude and moonlight meant that only a couple of bands were visible on the disc. The coure of M31 (Andromeda) galaxy was viewed in the Binos. In addition a tour of the Summer triangle, Antares, Arcturus and the Summer sky was made

12th June

Dome visit: A lecturer in Cognitive Science from Birmingham University had a brief tour of the Dome

11th June

GCSE revision: 15 GCSE pupils attended the Dome for 6 hours of revision prior to the exam on 12th

8th June

GCSE revision and Solar observing: 12 GCSE pupils gathered at the Dome for 4 hours of revision. The Sun was also viewed in the ETX showing the still large spot group 960

5th June

Solar observing: The ETX was used with 40mm and 12mm (Halpha sensitized) eyepieces to view the active and growing large group of spots near sunspot 960

Observing evening: A dozen Friends gathered to attempt a sighting of Mercury. Sadly the haze and cloud on the North Western horizon prevented this, but Venus was viewed in the ETX and 10 inch, clearly showing its near 50% phase. As the sky darkened, more cloud closed in from the East but the ISS pass was visible in small clear patches. The 10 inch was then aimed at 4 Vesta (the brightest asteroid and second most massive, discovered in 1807 by Olbers) and luckily the cloud parted enough for those remaining to see clearly the disc of the asteroid at its close distance of 1.1 AU

1st June

Solar observing: 2 visitors from London were able to view the nealy blank Sun in the ETX and then using the 10 inch and H alpha filter the prominences associated with a newly emerging active area on the eastern limb

17th May

Observing evening: The slender New Moon was found at 9.15pm and about half an hour later Mercury appeared within a few degrees to the South

16th May

Public Open afternoon: The weather was not conducive to viewing the Sun. Nevertheless a handfull of local people attended the Dome for a presentation of recent images and data on the Sun

4th May

Solar observing: 2 students from Imperial College in London visited the Dome to view sunspot 953 in ETX and at 80x and 160x in the 10 inch, The penumbral filament detail was superb as were the complex patterns of the umbra within the main spot

3rd May

Prep School lecture: 80 pupils from years 7 and 8 and a number of staff and parents attended the lecture ‘The Sun – our star’ at Thomas’s prep School in Battersea

2nd May

Public Lecture: Some 30 visitors attended the lecture ‘Living in the atmosphere of the Sun’ given at Green College, Oxford


30 April

Solar observing: 2 members of the College science staff from the early 80’s who had taken groups at the observatory and a friend attended the Dome. Though the sky was beginning to cloud, the Sun was viewed in the projection box with the huge spot clearly visible. Good detail was seen in the ETX and, in the 10 inch it was clear that the umbra had split and the large penumbra encompassed the group showed clear penumbral filaments at x160

29th April

Solar observing: 2 prep school pupils came to view the new large spot 953 in the 10 inch. At 80x the detailed shape of the single umbra was very good

26th April

Question and Answer evening: 14 Friends attended the Dome for an evening of discussion focussing on stellar evolution. The waxing Moon was also viewed in the 10 inch in the twighlight before the cloud closed in and good detail was visble on the walls of Copernicus

19th April

Archaeoastronomy Lecture: Some 20 members of Andover astronomical Society attended the lecture at their Village Hall just outside Andover on a clear night with the crescent Moon beutifully situated a few degrees from bright Venus

27th March to 3rd April

La Palma Expedition: 3 Hundreds pupils accompanied by CEB, JAG and RDK from Marlborough and a teacher from St Mary’s Calne spent a week on La Palma. The group joined researchers from the Netherlands and Warwick Universiry on the 4.2m William Herschel and the 2.5m Isaac Newton telescopes for 20 hours of observing, working on close Binary systems and progenitors of Type 1a supernovae

21st March

Spring Sky Tour: A small group of Friends gathered on the evening of the Vernal Equinox to view a beutiful twighlight sight of the 3 day old Moon showing clear Earthshine and a very bright Venus within 5 degrees. M45 the Pleiades was viewed in Binos and M44 Beehive and h and chi Perseii. The ETX was used to see the nearly Full phase of Venus. The 10 inch showed Saturn very well at low magnification with Titan and Iapetus close together and Rhea, Tethys and Dione visible near to the Planet. M44 was also viewed and then the Binary Mizar A and B. A couple of bright meteors were see, including a fireball in Virgo at the end of the evening.

18th March

2007 Sun-Earth day Lecture: Some 30 Friends and visitors attended the 5th S-E day lecture ‘Living in the atmosphere of the Sun’ in the Ellis theatre

14th March

Lycee visit: 6 sixth form pupils from Lycee Jaques Monod, Orleans, came up to the Dome in the afternoon. The Sun was viewed in Solar specs, a projection box and the ETX with broadband filter. No details were seen, the disc being devoid of sunspots. The 10 inch was then used with the H alpha filter and some fine prominences were seen on the Eastern limb

13th March

Observing evening: Though initially clear allowing some viewing of Coma Berenices galaxy clusters, mist swiftly built up curtailing observations

8th March

House observatory visit: The last Shell House group (C3) of the year came up to the Dome, unfortunately the sky was completely cloudy

Next House visit: October 2007

7th March

Shell Physics visits: 20 pupils from Shell set 3 came up to the Dome to view the Sun, through solar specs, projection box and filtered 10inch as part of the Ast b course. The Sun was devoid of any spots but did show some granulation to keen eyes

3rd March

Total Lunar Eclipse: Some 30 visitors including 3 Remove astronomers watched this spectacularly well situated eclipse. A perfect evening saw timing of the penumbral and umbral phases and a subtle gradiation of constanly changing colour to butterscotch orange at mid eclipse with a blue grey band at the top lunar edge. Certainly one of the best of its kind for a long while.

1st March

Observing evening: An unexpected clear evening gave 7 Remove GCSE Astronomers and 2 U6th visitors a chance to get going with coursework. Saturn and 4 moons was good in the 10 inch, though only 2 degrees from the nearly Full Moon. The closing gap between the two was apparent over the evening as Saturn neared Occultation. M42 was drawn in the ETX and M45 in Binos

Occultation of Saturn: From here the grazing conjunction was watched in detail and rather than ‘rolling’ along the edge of the Moon, Saturn appeared to ‘bounce’ off the edge !. Contact with the outer edge of the rings was made at 02.47.40 UT. The Cassini Division was touched at 02.49.47 UT at closest approach. At no time did the Planet’s disc itself touch the edge of the Moon. Appreciable separation was seen at 02.50.20 UT and the outer ring edge had again detatched by 02.51.30 UT.

22nd February

House observing evening: 9 pupils from BH and 1 from B1 came up to the Dome. Sadly, though Saturn had been clear in the early evening, only the 6 day old Moon could be viewed between the clouds in the Binos

Next House visit: 8th March (C3)

15th February

Observing evening: 2 visitors from London braved the clouds and were rewarded with glimpses of Orion’s ‘belt’ (Alnitak, Almilam and Mintaka)and M45 (Pleiades) in Binos and then Saturn and Titan in the 10 inch. Castor was also resolved into one of its binary components in the 10 inch.

14th February

Observing evening: Despite a fine sunset and bright Venus, by 20.30 UT high cloud and poor seeing rendered Saturn and its moons in too romantic a haze for serious observing

8th February

House observing evening: 10 Shell pupils and the HM from B1 attended the Dome and through gaps in the cloud viewed M45 Pleiades and M42 Orion Nebula through Binos and Saturn at low magnification in the 10 inch. Even so Titan and 3 inner moons were easily visible

Next House visit: Thursday 22nd February (BH)

Observing session: 1 Remove astronomer was able to complete a piece of course work by observing Saturn and 6 moons in tiny patches between the clouds

6th February

GCSE observing evening: High cloud and mist combined with the Astro lights made for a less than perfect sky, however as the temperature dropped a group of 10 Hundreds astronomers managed to complete 1 or 2 observations. Saturn in the 10 inch at x173 showed 6 moons to good eyes including Iapetus out beyond Titan. M42 was viewed in the ETX and M45 in Binos. Mizar A and B were also a target in the ETX. The evening finished with the bright orange waning gibbous Moon rising in the East

3rd February

Observing evening: The Dome was opened for a couple of Friends and despite the considerable moonlight, the evening was superb. M31 and M44 were viewed in the Binos and the Moon in the ETX. The 10 inch was then turned to Saturn which was viewed at increasing magnification until several surface bands and 5 moons were visible at x475 magnification. M42 was viewed at x238 and then x475 and showed the Trapezium and surrounding clouds in incredible detail with several more faint stars in the Trapezium itself. The Eskimo planetary nebula in Gemini was then viewed at x475 and x633 and showed superb detail of the two layers within the bubble of the explosion.

1st February

House observing evening: 13 Shell pupils from EL attended the Dome and sadly cloud prevented all but brief glimpses of the nearly full Snow Moon in Binos

Next House visit: 8th February (B1)

27th January

Art project visit: A former artist-in-residence at the College visited to film projections of the Gibbous Moon. Though clear at first the cloud rolled in a though the Moon was visible the light levels were greatly reduced

25th January

House observatory visit: 11 Shell from NC and 3 from MO were able to catch another clear evening, though with increasing high cloud. The First Quarter Moon was viewed in the ETX, M45 (Pleiades) in Binos and M42 and the Trapezium in the 10 inch

Next House visit: February 1st (EL)

GCSE Observing evening: 4 Remove pupils spent 2 hours doing coursework drawings. M42 and Trapezium, was well resolved in the ETX and Saturn super at higer magnification in the 10 inch. 5 Moons were visible. The high cloud gave both a lunar aureole and lunar halo and the evening finished with a -4 fireball meteor through Orion

23rd January

GCSE observing evening: A superb clear, still, cold evening allowed 6 Hundreds pupils to continue coursework. The 4 day old Moon then M45 and M44 (Beehive) were viewed in Binos. Mizar A and B and M42 in ETX and Saturn in the 10 inch. Saturn was superb and 5 moons visible. Titan bright and far out and Rhea on the opposite side. The best view of the evening was a beutiful triangle of 3 of the Moons on the Titan side with Tethys and Dione close together and Enceladus (the hardest at mag. 11.5) almost lost in the planets glare

18th January

House observing evening: 11 Shell pupils from C1 came up to the Dome in very high winds. No chance of observing

Next House visit: 25th January (NC)

16th January

GCSE observing evening: 4 Hundreds pupils came up to the Dome but the cloud had closed in by the time they had arrived. M42 was viewed well in the 10 inch for 15 minutes in a brief clear patch earlier in the evening.

11th January

Shell Chapel Lecture: CEB gave a short talk ‘The Star of Bethlehem’ outlining some of the possible astronomical evidence for a real event

House observing evening: 9 Shell pupils from CO visited the Dome and though the sky was orange with light pollution due to high cloud, it was possible to have an asterism tour and for all to see the Pleiades through the Binos

Next House visit: January 18th (C1)

10th January

Comet observation: After so much cloudy weather, at last a clear sunset provided the opportunity for 4 of the Physics Department to observe the critical 30 minutes of twighlight when comet 2006 P1 McNaught was beutifully bright and clear just above the southwestern horizon, before setting at 5.30pm, its tail several degrees long. Picture in images to follow.

27th December

Tour of the Winter Sky: Following in a long line of cloudy nights, the sky was totally overcast and it was lightly raining. Nevertheless one Friend did turn up to discuss Summer School courses on offer next July

7th December

House observing evening: The last Shell House visit of the term took place in high winds and almost total cloud, though the Moon was hazily visible. 11 pupils from TU attended

Next House visit: January 11th 2007 (CO)